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Open AccessArticle

Low-Cost Microfabrication Tool Box

1
Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
2
Mechanical Engineering Department, Middle East Technical University, 06800 Ankara, Turkey
3
Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1EW, UK
4
Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
5
MRC Doctoral Training Programme in Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
6
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Depok 16424, Indonesia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020135
Received: 5 December 2019 / Revised: 17 January 2020 / Accepted: 21 January 2020 / Published: 25 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidic Devices for Biosensing)
Microsystems are key enabling technologies, with applications found in almost every industrial field, including in vitro diagnostic, energy harvesting, automotive, telecommunication, drug screening, etc. Microsystems, such as microsensors and actuators, are typically made up of components below 1000 microns in size that can be manufactured at low unit cost through mass-production. Yet, their development for commercial or educational purposes has typically been limited to specialized laboratories in upper-income countries due to the initial investment costs associated with the microfabrication equipment and processes. However, recent technological advances have enabled the development of low-cost microfabrication tools. In this paper, we describe a range of low-cost approaches and equipment (below £1000), developed or adapted and implemented in our laboratories. We describe processes including photolithography, micromilling, 3D printing, xurography and screen-printing used for the microfabrication of structural and functional materials. The processes that can be used to shape a range of materials with sub-millimetre feature sizes are demonstrated here in the context of lab-on-chips, but they can be adapted for other applications. We anticipate that this paper, which will enable researchers to build a low-cost microfabrication toolbox in a wide range of settings, will spark a new interest in microsystems. View Full-Text
Keywords: microfabrication; microsystem; manufacturing; low-cost; scaling laws; lab-on-chip microfabrication; microsystem; manufacturing; low-cost; scaling laws; lab-on-chip
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Figure 1

  • Supplementary File 1:

    ZIP-Document (ZIP, 8787 KB)

  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: 10.17605/OSF.IO/UZKJB
    Description: Video S1: MicroMilling.mp4 (Micromilling - video), Code S1: Timer_UV_LED_countdown.ino (Photolithograhy - Arduino Timer code), Code S2: GCode_MicroMilling.docx (Micromilling - GCode), Design file S1: 0.2 mm Mixer device.3mf (3D printing - file), Design file S2: 500um channel.studio3 (Xurography - open channel design) and Profile S1: Cura device profile 02 nozzle.curaprofile (3D printing - printer profile).
MDPI and ACS Style

Charmet, J.; Rodrigues, R.; Yildirim, E.; Challa, P.K.; Roberts, B.; Dallmann, R.; Whulanza, Y. Low-Cost Microfabrication Tool Box. Micromachines 2020, 11, 135.

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